2017 UX events calendar

Ciaran O'Brien

Ciaran O'Brien

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As the working world blows away the cobwebs and gets back into gear after the New Year, so too the cogs of the design events calendar begin to turn!

With an events calendar as diverse as the design field itself, we thought it might be of some use to try and help you to navigate what is going on and when so as to not miss out in 2017.

Futureheads’ UX team will be at these events in some capacity, we don’t bite, so please come and say hello to me, Nathan, Chris, Andy or Jon

Monthly events

There are some very active communities in the UX world. We regularly attend events held by some and recommend putting them on your calendar as these are a mixture of fun and insightful events with great networking opportunities. 



When: Dates can vary, so be sure to check, however, the UXPA events tend to take place on the 3rd Wednesday/Thursday of each month.

What: The User Experience Professionals Association are a not-for-profit dedicated to promoting user centred design, and supporting the UX community.

UXPA events are varied, from your standard talk and task, all the way through to pub quizzes, so they are kept fresh. The events are generally quite fun, with a positive, relaxed atmosphere making it a great place to network and find a UX mentor if you are starting out in the UX world.

Where: This really varies depending on the events; it could be a lecture space, a sponsor’s HQ or even a pub.

Cost: £10 tickets must be purchased prior to events. However if you are a UXPA member, this will be refunded on attendance.

FYI: Tickets fly off the shelves for UXPA events, so be sure to sign up to their mailer to be aware of events as soon as they are announced.

First event of the year: Details on EventBrite.

UXPA are kicking the year off with what should be a very fun evening discussing UX and video games. Topics will include accessibility, creating games for children and the latest approaches to design and research. Rumours abound that there will be Mario Kart on the go for a real interactive experience, expect to see Futureheads’ propping up the console should this be the case.



When: IXDA events are usually on the last Wednesday of every month – this can occasionally change so do check on their meet-up site. 

What: The Interaction Design Association are a member-supported organisation who are dedicated solely to the discipline of interaction design. With 80,000 members and approaching their 14th year, IXDA is an excellent organisation who attract impressive, informative speakers.

The London chapter of IXDA is led by Boon and Jason, supported by local volunteers to put on these events. The team in London are a really nice bunch, so be sure to say hello when you are there!

They often utilise workshops following on from speakers to reinforce the knowledge gained on a topic in an innovative way.

Where: IXDA events are usually around the Old Street area, and again this can change.

Cost: This can vary, they often employ tickets that are refundable on attendance in order to minimise no-shows as the events are often oversubscribed.

FYI: This is an event that Futureheads are proud to sponsor, and as such there will always be at least two of the team in attendance. We provide the refreshments, so come for the speakers, stay for the pizza and beer!

These are really fun events that are very popular in the IxD community, and it’s a great place to meet engaging, like-minded people.

First event of the year: Soon to be announced so watch this space!


3. Internet of Things Meetup

When: Usually the third Tuesday of every month.

What: Six years in and still going strong, this meetup covers an incredible array of topics and industries. This diverse event will normally have three speakers who are at the forefront of making the internet of things happen. What might this cover I hear you ask? In their words – ‘Anything that puts a networked computer where none has gone before’. This is an excellent opportunity to hear from, meet and engage with innovators who are at the coalface of creating the internet of things. 

Where: Usually, One Fine Stay / Sherlock (their sponsors) who are based in Angel. Events are followed by drinks and mingling in The Blacksmith and Toffeemaker next door. 

Cost: This is a free event!

FYI: IoT meetups are very egalitarian events and as such if you have a prototype/project/product that you’d like to present and discuss, you need only to speak to the meet-ups curator, Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino to find out more.

First event of the year: IoT’s 62nd event, and 1st of 2017 will take place on the 24th of January, with talks from Vinay Paul (@imercurial), Siobhán ní Chofaigh, Mint-tek (@MintTekCircuits) and Peter Karney, Digital Catapult (@pjcoolk).

Go to their MeetUp page to find out more.


4. Service Design Network

When: Third Wednesday of the month

What: The Service Design Network are a global community that proselytises good service design practice. They are a vibrant community that draws on the expertise of their members who include opinion leaders, academics and expert practitioners.

They put on talks and have well-informed panels, and occasionally put on very engaging, lively debates! 

Where: This varies given the wide range of sponsors that they attract, reflecting the diversity of the discipline.

Cost: Free!

FYI: The Service Design Network successfully hosted their first UK conference in June of 2016, and given its success are planning to put on another extravaganza in 2017, so keep an ear out for developments!

First event of the year: Soon to be announced

Annual Events 


1. World IA Day

When: February 18, 2017 – kicking off at 9.30 in London

What: Celebrating all that is great and good in Information Architecture, World IA day in London will feature talks from three leading speakers, an afternoon of workshops and finish with a keynote talk from Giles Colborne. 

Where: 65 locations, 29 countries, six continents! In London, the event will take place at City University of London in Northampton Square.

Cost: In London – tickets range from £16.52 - £37.76

FYI: Certain tickets grant access to certain aspects of the day, and as there are a wide range of concurrent workshops going on, tickets give access to only one-afternoon workshop. Spaces are limited so book early to let them know your first and second preferences.

When: February 18, 2017


2. UX London

When: May 24-26

What: This is the biggie! Three days of inspiration for UX designers, this event will have industry leaders from around the world presenting a combination of inspiring talks, and lively, hands-on workshops. 
Each day of the conference focuses on a particular area of UX, and as such make sure to do your homework before purchasing a ticket if only wishing to attend on a day that is relevant for you.

The current breakdown is Day 1 – Product, Day 2 – Service, Day 3 – Design.

Where: Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.King Charles Court, Royal Naval College, London SE10 9JF


  • Super early bird day ticket - £345+VAT
  • Day ticket - £445+VAT 
  • Early bird three-day ticket – £875+VAT
  • Three day - £1,125+VAT

FYI: Super early bird tickets are on sale until January 15th, and early bird tickets are on sale until February 14th.

When: May 24-26


3. UCD17

When: Soon to be announced – usually October.

What: The content for this year is still to be created, though check out last year’s!

UCD UK is a not-for-profit that was created with the purpose of promoting User Centred Design as a community of practice.

The conference aspect of the organisation was borne from a desire to create alternative events to explore how User Centred Design is applied in a variety of disciplines, and understand and further how this benefits the quality and expertise of people both inside and outside the community, in the UK and around the world.

Where: Soon to be announced

Cost: To be announced, though UCD try to provide a more economical alternative to other day/multi-day events

FYI: Futureheads very own Be Kaler, along with Karl Smith and Julian Hirst are serving as the driving force behind UCD and taking the agenda forward. Supporting Be, Futureheads as a whole are proud to be sponsoring, curating and actively participating in this digital event. 

Keep an eye out for some familiar and some soon to be familiar faces, we will be there in force!

When: To be announced


4. Service Design Fringe Festival

When: September – exact dates to be announced

What: The Service Design Fringe Festival runs concurrently with the London Design Festival. While the London Design Festival Festival turns 15 this year, 4 years ago the Service Design community decided to take this opportunity of designers around the world flocking to London to shine a light on service design as an emerging discipline. Having built a great following, this is now a regular face on the events calendar that helps to create, strengthen and grow connections between the service design community and the wider design community.

Where: London! In a variety of places.

Cost: Soon to be announced

FYI: The Service Design community are a very supportive and engaged bunch, so if interested get involved, help out and make some connections! Take a look here to find out how you can help facilitate this celebration of service design!  

When: September


5. UX Camp Brighton

When: 25 March 2017 

What: An ‘unconference’ for anyone involved or interested in user experience design, user research, interaction design, information architecture, usability, accessibility and other associated fields. Attendees either run or participate in 20 minute sessions, such as talks, demos or discussions. No headliners, no product pitches, just a friendly (if intense) event focused on sharing, socialising and learning new stuff. 

They put on talks and have well-informed panels, and occasionally put on very engaging, lively debates! 

Where: The Skiff, 30 Cheapside, Brighton BN1 4GD

Cost: Up to £20. Tickets go quick, so check the event out here

FYI: Like all bar camps, session slots aren't arranged in advance. They'll put up a grid in the morning and session hosts will rush to grab a slot of their choosing, when they shout go!


As you can see, with events ranging from monthly meet ups through to three day long UX extravaganzas, you really are spoilt for choice in 2017’s design events calendar.
If you ever have any questions prior to an event, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team here at Futureheads, we will be at most of these events in some capacity, we hope to see you there!